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Three-year Researcher Project with International Mobility (FRIPRO)

Purpose

The purpose of FRIPRO is to fund curiosity-driven and bold research that can contribute to advancing the state-of-the-art. FRIPRO supports both basic and applied research in all research areas. This call is aimed at researchers at postdoctoral level who wish to spend two years at a foreign research organisation and the third year in Norway.

About the call for proposals

About FRIPRO 

New knowledge often arises in unexpected ways and in areas that are impossible to predict. Therefore, free, basic research is important for scientific and academic renewal, and can form the basis for more applied research, business development and policy-making. The FRIPRO scheme will contribute to this, and we are therefore announcing funding for basic and applied research projects in all research areas, where the project ideas come from the scientists themselves. 

At FRIPRO, we are willing to invest in the bold research that has the potential to provide significant advances in the field, even if it also has a significant risk of failing. Describe well how you will manage the risk and alternative plans if the first ones do not go as desired.  

We do not have any requirements regarding the potential for societal impact in the projects we fund through FRIPRO. The peer reviewers will only assess the applications on this point if you have described such possible effects in the application. 

FRIPRO's three career stages 

Through FRIPRO, we want to reach researchers at different stages of their research careers. We have three calls for proposals – one for each stage of the research career: 

  1. Three-year Researcher Project with International Mobility (this call): for project managers 0-7  years' experience after receiving their PhD  
  2.  Researcher Project for Early Career Scientists: for project managers with 2-7 years' experience after receiving their PhD 
  3. Researcher Project for Experienced Scientists: for project managers with at least 6 years' experience after receiving their PhD or being approved with associate professor competence 

If you meet the requirements for more than one call, our general recommendation is to choose the one that is best suited for the earliest stages of your career. Here, we expect you to have the best chance of reaching the top of the competition for funding. 

Fierce competition in FRIPRO 

FRIPRO is for particularly talented researchers in their fields, and getting funded is tough. Every year, we receive far more applications worthy of support than we are able to fund. We therefore have a set a mark requirement to be considered for funding from FRIPRO. Only applications awarded a mark of 6 or 7 from the panels on all the assessment criteria (on a scale of marks from 1-7, where 7 is the highest mark), will be eligible for funding. We therefore recommend that you make your application as good as possible before you submit it. 

Among the eligible applications, we place most emphasis on the criteria Excellence – potential for advancing the state-of-the-art and Excellence – quality of R&D activities when selecting applications for funding. 

Priority will be given to projects with women project managers when the applications are otherwise assessed equally. 

When can you submit your application and when will you receive an answer? 

FRIPRO's three calls for proposals have ongoing application reception and processing. This means that you can submit an application at any time as long as you are not subject to a FRIPRO waiting period or submission restriction period. We process the applications as they are received. The project for which you are applying for funding must have a planned project start 8-18 months after you submit the application. Read more under "Administrative procedures" about application processing and application processing time. 

We have made a video where we go through the application form (in Norwegian): FRIPRO ongoing application reception and processing. 

The call is available in both Norwegian and English. The text of the Norwegian call for proposals is legally binding. In the event of changes, the call text that appears at the time you submit the application applies to your application.

Who is eligible to apply?

Only approved Norwegian research organisations may apply. See here for the list of approved Norwegian research organisations.  

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner 

The research organisation listed as the Project Owner in the application form must have approved the submission of the grant application. 

Requirements relating to the project manager 

  • You must have submitted your doctoral thesis before you can submit the application. 
  • You must have completed a doctorate before project start-up. 
  • When submitting the application, no more than seven years may have passed since the date of defence of your doctoral dissertation. If more than seven years have passed, you can apply to subtract leaves of absence, compulsory military or civilian service, seeking asylum or sick leave in accordance with our rules for subtracting time.  

Rules for subtracting time:   

You may apply to subtract time used in connection with: 

  • statutory leaves of absence, 
  • compulsory military or civilian service (up to 12 months for either of these), 
  • seeking asylum (for the period from the submission date to the date of decision on the asylum/refugee application and/or receipt of residence permit), or 
  • continuous full-time and/or part-time sick leave equal to at least eight weeks full-time absence 

The periods to be subtracted must have taken place after the doctoral defence. In order to grant a subtraction, you are required to submit documentation of the time you are asking to subtract with your grant application. You must also enter the time deduction in the application form. We accept documentation from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), physicians/health services and other public bodies (in Norway or other countries), and employers. Documentation from current or former supervisors is not sufficient. If you are providing documentation from an employer, it must come from the employer’s administration department, such as the HR department. The documentation must be submitted in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English, or must be accompanied by a certified translation into one of these languages. 

We follow the rules for leaves of absence set out in the Norwegian Working Environment Act, and you may apply to subtract time for any leaves of absence you would have been entitled to if you had lived in Norway at the time. For example, you may subtract time for parental leave in a country that does not have statutory parental leave, provided that you actually took parental leave. You must be able to document the leave as described above.

 

  • You will not be eligible to receive funding for a Three-year Researcher Project with International Mobility more than once.
  • At the time of application, you must not have lived or worked in the country of the host institution for more than 12 months during the past three years.
  • At the time of application, you must have lived or worked in Norway for at least 12 months in the past seven years.
  • You must be employed by the Project Owner (Norwegian research organisation) for the entire duration of the project period.
  • You must have completed a master's degree or PhD at a Norwegian research organisation.
  • You cannot be the project manager for an application for a Three-year Researcher Project with International Mobility (FRIPRO) if you have a waiting period or submission restriction period in FRIPRO. See detailed description below.
  • Ongoing project: If you are already the project manager for a project with funding from FRIPRO, you can only be the project manager for a new application for funding from FRIPRO if the new project has a start date after the end date in the first approved contract for the ongoing project. If you are unsure of which date applies to you, contact the case officer for the ongoing project. 

Waiting period and submission restriction period 

As a project manager for a FRIPRO application, you will have a one-year waiting period calculated from the date you submitted the application until you can be the project manager for a new FRIPRO application. If the application receives marks below the set limits from the panel assessing it, you will also be subject to a submission restriction period of 1-2 years. The length of the submission restriction period depends on the call from which you applied for funding. In the table below, you can see which average marks give the different waiting and submission restriction periods. (Scale of marks 1–7, where 7 is the highest mark.) 

Calls for proposals 

1 year waiting period  
+ 0 years submission restriction period 

1 year waiting period 
+ 1 year submission restriction period 

1 year waiting period 
+ 2 years submission restriction period 

Researcher project for experienced researchers 

7–5,75 

5,5–3,25 

3–1 

Researcher Project for Early Career Scientists/Young Talents 

7–4,75 

4,5–1 

None 

Three-year Researcher Project with International Mobility 

All 

None 

None 

You cannot be the project manager for a new FRIPRO application if you have a waiting period or submission restriction period, but you can be a project participant in other FRIPRO applications and a project manager for applications for other calls from the Research Council, regardless of the waiting period and submission restriction period in FRIPRO. The waiting period and submission restriction period apply across all FRIPRO's calls, unless otherwise described in the call. 

The waiting period also means that you can only be the project manager for one application to FRIPRO at a time. You must therefore choose which of the three calls you want to apply for. Check the requirements for the project manager and purpose for each call to see which one is right for you and your project. 

The submission restriction period does not have retroactive effect and only applies in the calls where the submission restriction period is/was described. Project managers for applications submitted in 2022 and previous years with a mark point average below the thresholds are therefore not in a submission restriction period. These project managers can be the project manager for a FRIPRO application at this time. 

Requirements relating to partners 

Only approved research organisations (see "Who is eligible to apply?" above) or equivalent research organisations in other countries are eligible to be partners and receive funding under this call.  Other types of organisations, such as companies and other undertakings, may not be project partners in Researcher Projects. Read more about partners. 

The Project Owner and/or partners can engage subcontractors to provide services and contribute to the implementation of certain tasks in the project. Subcontractors may not be granted rights to project results. Organisations that are subject to the regulations for public procurement must in the normal manner carry out the selection of subcontractors in accordance with these regulations. It is not possible to have R&D suppliers in the project.   

A project partner may not have two different roles in the project. This means that a subcontractor may not serve as Project Owner or partner in the project at the same time.

What can you seek funding for?

You can apply for funding to cover actual costs necessary to carry out the project. The Project Owner is to obtain information about costs from the project partners. These costs are to be entered in the cost plan under the relevant cost category. 

Support may be granted to cover the following costs: 

  • Payroll and indirect expenses: Own salary for three years in accordance with Rates for funding research fellowships. Overhead costs incurred by research organisations abroad and in Norway are included in the rates. If our lump sum rates do not cover all the costs of the position, the difference must be covered through own funding.  
  • Establishment costs and additional expenses related to the stay abroad: Research grants abroad for the first 12 months abroad. 
  • Equipment: This includes operating and depreciation costs for scientific equipment and research infrastructure necessary to carry out the project. 
  • Operating expenses: costs for other activities that are necessary to carry out the project's R&D activities. Procurements from subcontractors exceeding NOK 100,000 must be specified. Here you can list up to two return trips Norway and the host country.  

You will find detailed and important information about what to enter in the project budget on our website on what the budget should contain.

Scope of funding 

We can provide funding of a minimum of NOK 4.4 million and a maximum of NOK 4.8 million to cover costs. 

Overseas scholarships for the first 12 months abroad 

The entire Research Stay Abroad Grant must be entered in the calendar year in which the project starts. See the Research Council's rates.  

Conditions for funding 

The Research Council will not award funding that constitutes state aid under this call. This means that the funding should only go to your non-economic activity. We require a clear separation of accounts for the organisation’s economic and non-economic activities. Our requirements for allocation and disbursement of support for the first year, and any pledges and payments for subsequent years, can be found in our General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects on the information page What the contract involves.  

If the project is awarded funding, the following must be in place when you revise the grant application: 

Relevant thematic areas for this call

This call encompasses all disciplines and research areas, and we are accepting applications for funding for both basic and applied research.

Ground-breaking research

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

The application must be created and submitted via My RCN Web. You can create an application at any time. You can edit and save a created application until you submit it. It is the application that is submitted that is processed. You cannot change the application after you have submitted it.  

If you wish to withdraw an application, you can do so by sending us an e-mail with a copy to the administrative officer stating the ES number of the application. Applications withdrawn within one month of submission do not result in a waiting period. 

The application must meet the following requirements: 

  • The grant application and all attachments must be submitted in English 
  • Mandatory attachments must be included.  
  • The attachments must be in PDF format.  
  • Requirements relating to the project manager, the Project Owner, the research organisation and partners must be met.  
  • The project period is three years. You must spend the first two years at a research organisation abroad and the last year at a Norwegian research organisation. If necessary, up to two of the months at the Norwegian organisation can be moved to the beginning of the project period 
  • The project must start between 8 and 18 months after submission of the application.  

If the application does not meet the requirements in the list above, we will ask you to withdraw the application and possibly resubmit it where the deficiencies have been corrected. If the application is not withdrawn, it may be rejected. 

Mandatory attachments  

Use designated templates for all mandatory attachments. The templates can be found at the end of the call.

  • project description, maximum 11 pages 
  • CV for the project manager, maximum four pages 
  • Invitation letter from the host institution abroad (there is no template) 
  • Recommendation letter from the Norwegian research organisation (Project owner), including a reintegration plan and knowledge transfer to Norway during the third project year (there is no template, maximum one page) 
  • Documentation for subtracting time if you apply for a deduction for experience. (We don't have a template for this. The document must be uploaded under Attachments/Other items in the application form.)   

Optional attachments  

  • Attach CVs for the most important project participants, each a maximum of four pages. It is mandatory to use the CV template at the bottom of the call. Upload each CV as a separate attachment and select the attachment category "Curriculum vitae (CV)".  
    • You will assess which project participants are the most important, and in which cases it will be of importance in the application processing to assess the project participants' qualifications.  
  • If you wish, you can attach a brief description of competence or suggestions for up to three peers you believe would be suitable to assess your application. We are not obliged to use the suggestions, but can do so if necessary.  

All attachments to the application must be submitted with the application.   

Attachments other than those mentioned here as mandatory and optional, as well as any websites that you link to in the application, will not be included in the assessment of the application.  

Be careful to upload the correct attachment type, as there are no technical restrictions on what kind of templates it is possible to upload in the application form.  

Assessment criteria

We assess applications in light of the objectives of the application type in question and on the basis of the following criteria:

Excellence – potential for advancing the state-of-the-art

The extent to which the proposed work is ambitious, novel, and goes beyond the state-of-the-art
• Scientific creativity and originality.
• Novelty and boldness of hypotheses or research questions.
• Potential for development of new knowledge beyond the current state-of-the-art, including significant theoretical, methodological, experimental or empirical advancement.

Excellence – quality of R&D activities

The quality of the proposed R&D activities
• Quality of the research questions, hypotheses and project objectives, and the extent to which they are clearly and adequately specified.
• Credibility and appropriateness of the theoretical approach, research design and use of scientific methods. Appropriate consideration of interdisciplinary approaches.
• The extent to which appropriate consideration has been given to ethical issues, safety issues, gender dimension in research content, and use of stakeholder/user knowledge if appropriate.

Impact

Potential for enhancement of the career prospects of the researcher
• The extent to which the project, including the choice of the host institution abroad, will enhance the potential and future career prospects of the researcher.
• Quality and appropriateness of the training and supervision of the researcher, and of the integration in the host institutions.
• Potential for transfer of knowledge from the host institution abroad to the Norwegian host institution during the third year of the project.

Potential impact of the proposed research
• Potential for academic impact:
The extent to which the planned outputs of the project address important present and/or future scientific challenges.
The extent to which the planned outputs are openly accessible to ensure reusability of the research outputs and enhance reproducibility.
• Potential for societal impact (if addressed by the applicant):
The extent to which the planned outputs of the project address UN Sustainable Development Goals or other important present and/or future societal challenges.
• The extent to which the potential impacts are clearly formulated and plausible.

Communication and exploitation
• The extent to which the appropriate open science practices are implemented as an integral part of the proposed project to ensure open sharing and wide distribution of research outputs.
• Quality and scope of communication and engagement activities with different target audiences, including relevant stakeholders/users.

Implementation

The quality of the project manager and project group
• The extent to which the project manager has relevant expertise and experience, and demonstrated ability to perform high-quality research (as appropriate to the career stage).
• The degree of complementarity of the participants and the extent to which the project group has the necessary expertise needed to undertake the research effectively.

The quality of the project organisation and management
• Effectiveness of the project organisation, including the extent to which resources assigned to work packages are aligned with project objectives and deliverables.
• Appropriateness of the allocation of tasks, ensuring that all participants have a valid role and adequate resources in the project to fulfil that role.
• Appropriateness of the proposed management structures and governance.

Administrative procedures

All FRIPRO applications are assessed by a panel of peer reviewers before the Portfolio Board for Ground-breaking Research makes a decision on whether to award funding to an application or not. The portfolio board will do this approximately every two months for all applications that have been peer-reviewed.  

Applications that are not eligible for funding will be rejected. Applications that qualify for funding are included in the competition for funding in three decision rounds. If your application qualifies, but is not granted in the first decision round, it will be given a second chance in the next decision round. If it is not granted then either, it will be included in a third and final round. Applications that are included in their second or third round will compete on an equal footing with newly received applications.    

The application processing time for each application will vary, depending on factors such as the number of applications received within the same subject area, the availability of peer reviewers and coincidences. The average application processing time is estimated to be 6-8 months for applications that receive a response in the first round of decisions in which they are processed, with variations of 2-10 months. If your application is included in several rounds, it will take 2-4 months longer before you receive an answer to your application compared to an application that is either rejected or that is awarded funding in its first round of decision.  

We will announce which applications that are awarded funding about every two months, with the first time being in June 2024.   

See "FRIPRO's application processing" on the FRIPRO information page for a more thorough description of the application processing in FRIPRO. 

Create application

Applications for Three-year Researcher Project with International Mobility (FRIPRO) should be created on My RCN Web. Application templates should be filled and uploaded in the application.

Create application

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